Yael Cohen Braun is the founder of uncensored parenting community Motherlucker and the co-founder of nonprofit charity Fuck Cancer. Yael serves as an advocate for a range of healthcare issues and as a result of her work is recognized as a leader in philanthropy and social entrepreneurship. She has been named to Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business list, a Genius Award recipient by Elle Magazine, one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women by the Financial Post, and was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award. She also serves as a senior advisor to Bumble and sits on the board of trustees for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Yael resides in Los Angeles, California, with her husband and two sons and has a baby girl on the way.
Going into my first pregnancy, I had visions of birds chirping and a 10-month glow. Going into my third, I’m a lot more realistic. I just pray my ankles don’t swell too early and that the heartburn doesn’t ruin my life. Every pregnancy is different, but the third time around it’s kind of just status quo—is that weird? Very soon we’ll have three kids under four, so I’ve been pregnant more than I haven’t in the last few years. I forget I’m pregnant most days, that is until I put the kids to sleep and realize I’m exhausted and everything hurts!
This time it’s a girl, so I think I’m supposed to feel different. I feel excited to have a less sticky child around the house, and someone I can potentially force to match me for the rest of her life, but that's about it. There’s a lot less planning, stressing, and anxiety this time around, which I love! There’s also a lot less sitting or resting, which I don’t love as much. Ahead, I'm sharing a few of the mom-truths I've learned during my third pregnancy.
1. Good luck hiding that bump this time (your uterus gives up on you).
The first time you’re pregnant, you’re basically stuffing your shirt to convince people there’s a baby in there. By the third, you find out from your belly, not a pregnancy test. I got so excited to tell my best girlfriends that I was pregnant this time around, to which my super-blunt best friend responded, “Yah, girl, we know. You can’t hide that,” pointing to my belly. Cooooooool. Your uterus isn’t a muscle you can tighten; with every pregnancy, it gets little looser. Think of it as your favorite sweater. You stretched that shit out but got a lot of use out of it and for a great reason!
2. It’s not as scary or special the third time.
It’s not that you’re not as thrilled to be welcoming another little love into your family, it’s just that you have another (or few) kids to keep alive, and well… you’ve been here before. The anxiety of every muscle twitch, the fear of the unknown, and honestly, the time to obsess are all things of the past. For me at least, it was way less stressful with every pregnancy. I knew what was up, and I was chasing other kids around. I rarely knew what week I was in, never mind what fruit size to compare her to.
I would oscillate between wanting to throw up and crawl in a hole with entirely forgetting I was pregnant. I’m not going to lie, I definitely hit a few people on the back of the head with my bump while trying to sneak behind their chairs at restaurants while forgetting I didn’t fit where I used to.
3. What preparation?
For baby numero uno, I was searching Pinterest for nursery ideas before my second ultrasound, with the third she’s lucky if her pacifier isn’t a hand-me-down. It’s a combination of already having what you need and now knowing just how much of it you don’t. I will not be buying the cashmere stuffed animal this time, thank you very much. Cut yourself some slack, the nursery may not be as prepared, but, girl, you certainly are.
4. You break the rules (within reason).
Holy shit I missed coffee and sushi my first pregnancy; this time around I just miss sitting down. I listened to every single thing to avoid when pregnant my first time, as one should. But by your third rodeo, you relax the reins a little. I obviously stayed (far) away from anything that could really hurt my little love (smoking, alcohol, you get it). The occasional latte or sushi however definitely graced these lips. My doctor said it best, “Don’t eat sushi from a gas station or airport and give the high-mercury fish a miss, otherwise I trust you.” So, sorry ladies, but that gas station sushi is strictly off limits; your baby will thank you.
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